Winning the multiple offer battle

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Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance

Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance

LOVELAND – House hunting can be both very exciting and painfully frustrating at the same time – especially when you fall in love with that dream home and are faced with the dreaded multiple offer battle. How do you come out on top and beat the competition?

Here are a few strategies for winning the multiple offer battle:

Eliminate unusual contingencies
Offers with fewer contingencies will always be more appealing than those with more contingencies. Home sale contingencies are particularly unappealing to sellers in this market. That contingency states that you can only buy the new home if you are able to sell your existing home. Obviously, a seller would prefer to select an offer without that condition. If you have a home to sell, a bridge loan is a possible solution. Although risky, eliminating the inspection and/or mortgage contingency may help as well. Use this option with caution and discuss the pros and cons with your agent. 

Increase your escrow deposit
A higher deposit is always appealing to sellers. It demonstrates that you are a serious contender in the offer battle and have the resources and passion to commit, setting you another step apart from the competition. Think of it as a little bit of extra assurance in the eyes of the seller that your offer is earnest and you are committed to buying. Even better – it’s an act of good will from the start of the relationship and may even help when it comes to further negotiations.

Tighten up your timeframes for deadlines
Deadlines are important benchmarks in the home buying process. The more deadlines that have passed, the more likely the deal is to close. So, selecting an earlier date for inspection and mortgage commitment can be a plus to a seller. An earlier closing date can help as well if the seller is looking for a quick closing.

Provide a strong pre-approval letter
Another surefire way to increase your chances of beating out the competition is to include a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender. The letter should mention that your credit has already been pulled and verified. Better yet, it can even show that your income and other finances have already been received and reviewed. It is rare that a seller would consider an offer without a pre-approval letter to begin with, but a strong pre-approval letter can give your offer an extra boost.

Don’t ask for extras
Again, it’s all about eliminating any complications and being the least intrusive buyer as possible. Forget about the patio furniture, the optional appliances, etc. – the simpler and more straightforward the offer, the more desirable it will be.  Which ties in perfectly with the next tip…

Don’t come across as high maintenance or overly aggressive
Sellers want buyers who are easy to deal with and are ready to sign a deal. If you are looking to win the battle, the last thing you want to do is come across as difficult or demanding.  Be flexible, be agreeable, and be passionate about your desire to purchase the home.

Which leads us to our last bit of advice…

Submit a “love letter”
Want to stand out from the other bidders and win over the seller? Appeal to the heart…and offer a real glimpse at the person behind the offer.  Explain why you want to purchase the home and what it would mean to you to be the owner. Adding some personality and passion to this formal process can definitely give you a leg up in winning the multiple offer battle.

Every home and transaction is unique and may offer other opportunities for you to appeal to a seller.

Suzanne Plewes is a Broker Associate at RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland. For real estate questions write to 750 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland, CO 80537, call 970.290.0373 or e-mail suzanneplewes@remax.net.

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